Tag Archives: cardamom

Recipe: Saffron and Cardamon Yoghurt (Shrikhand)

I originally encountered this recipe in a pack from the glorious (and sadly, now on hold) Curry Delights startup.  It is a beautiful, pale-yellow-tinted, cooling yoghurt dessert flavoured with cardamom and the honey-like scent of saffron, and I absolutely loved it – so much that I made it two nights running, in fact. 

Ambika and Vikram’s version of this dish was super-easy and very quick, but relied on a couple of products that I was unable to source in Australia, so once I ran out (i.e., about four days after first encountering the recipe), I was out of luck.  I did have recipes for Shrikhand in other books, but none of them looked quite right (though I *highly* approve of the one that suggests adding popping candy, and I will be doing this at the first opportunity), and most of them, being more traditional, required a longer preparation time, as the recipes relied on drained yoghurt.

But I was really craving those lovely, cooling flavours again this week, so I decided that it was time to see if I could cross the various recipes, modified slightly to my tastes, and make a version that was feasible here.

Short version?  I did, and it was glorious, and I’m writing it up right now, so that I don’t forget the quantities…


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saffron strands – a big pinch, crumbled between your fingers into a little bowl
250 g light cream cheese
1/3 cup icing sugar (slightly heaped, to be honest)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder, also heaped
350 g low fat Greek Yoghurt (nothing wrong with full fat, but the low fat Black Swan one is nicer than the full fat anyway, and frankly, this dessert does not need to be any richer than it is)
200g raspberries, to serve.  Trust me, you want something fresh and acidic. Continue reading

Recipe: Gluten-free orange and cardamom wafers

These were going to be cut-out biscuits for the Ovarian Cancer fundraising Morning Teal, but first I wanted to make them without egg, for my friend who can’t eat eggs, and then I thought I’d make them gluten-free, for my friend who can’t eat gluten and by the time I was done inventing a new gluten-free flour and messing with the recipe as is my wont, my beautiful ribbon and dinosaur-shaped biscuits spread all over the biscuit tray and ran together until they looked like mis-shapen brandy snaps – thin, a little bit flexible while hot, and generally wafer-like.


They were also really yummy, which was almost adding insult to injury, at this point.  I decided to cut the next batch into circles, and sandwich them together with blue curaçao icing, for the purposes of the morning tea, and they were pretty good like that, but secretly I knew that my ugly biscuits had a much better fate before them – they were made to go with ice-cream or whipped cream and fruit.

So that’s what I did with them for dessert the following night, and I was right – they were great with icecream.  And they will be even better with whipped cream, if I can find the right configuration for them.

If I were making them again, I’d plan to shape them into baskets over the back of a glass or something similar – they really have that sort of personality.  Then again, this recipe makes about a hundred wafers, so maybe not.  I’d probably go mad.  You can certainly halve this recipe – the reason I’ve made it so large is to make the gluten-free flour mix manageable.  But you can make the mix, pull out 250 g of it and set the rest aside for gluten-free cupcakes (which is what I did with the rest of it), if you prefer.

All dressed up for Morning Teal

All dressed up for Morning Teal

Your shopping list

1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
1/3 cup cornflour
1/3 cup potato flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (polenta)
440 g caster sugar
440 g butter, softened
zest of two oranges
2 tsp ground cardamom seed
1 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch of salt

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Recipe: Sticky Apricot Cardamom Scrolls

After I made those cinnamon scrolls last week and bragged about them to the internet, I had a few requests for the recipe.  Well, I can’t give you the recipe, because for once in my life, I was actually following a recipe properly, and that recipe came from The Great Australian Bake Off Cookbook.  Incidentally, I hope some of you saw the bake off when it was on, because it was enormously fun – like someone took all the interesting parts of Masterchef, condensed them into one hour a week, got rid of the endless repetition and commentary, and added amusing musical stings and a very cute, playschool-like pastel coloured kitchen for everyone to work in, in the gardens of Werribee Mansion.  Oh, and it was all baking, no annoying savoury dishes with everyone nattering on about protein, where protein must always and only mean meat.

Anyway, much to my surprise, this cookbook turns out to actually have all the recipes from the show that *I* wanted to try, which is very clever of them.  Clearly whoever put this together shares my tastes to a remarkable degree.  I want to bake everything in the book. 

Hello, digression!  Getting back to the point, rather than share a recipe that wasn’t mine, I decided yesterday to modify the recipe to something I could share with you.  So instead of coffee scrolls, we have these sticky apricot and cardamom buns which are absolutely gorgeous, if I say so myself.  They do have quite a strong cardamom flavour, so if you like your spices subtle, you might want to halve the quantity. 

The dough, incidentally, is absolutely beautiful to work with – so soft and tender to the touch, just delicious.  And I love the method, which is spread out over a lazy few hours… or a frenetic few hours as you run into the study between kneads in order to write endless political posts (only six left now, hooray!) and food blog wrap-ups.  It’s strangely relaxing to make.

And the results are glorious.

buns close

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275 ml milk (low fat milk or a non-dairy milk are both fine here)
7 g dry yeast
1 egg
450 g bread flour
25 g caster sugar + 1/4 cup for the syrup
1 tsp salt
50 g unsalted butter, plus another 50 g for the filling
1 1/4 cups chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cardamom
50 ml blood orange juice – from about half an orange
2 cups icing sugar

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Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food: Sweet Spices, Savoury Suppers

I can’t tell you how much I love April in Melbourne.  By April, we are finally – finally! – past any final vestiges of Summer and into Autumn proper.  And I love Autumn.  I love nights when it’s cold enough to snuggle down under a doona, I love the golden light we get only at this time of year, I love the unpredictable bursts of rain and the sun that is still bright and warm, but no longer scorching.  Along Royal Parade, we have Dutch Elms (one up-side of Australia’s remoteness: no Dutch Elm Disease) glowing in all the best autumnal colours.  And at home?  At home, I want to bake.  And it’s finally cool enough to do so.

But I can bake any time, and, in fact, I do.  That’s sort of ducking the issue, in vegetarian terms.  So this month, we have a savoury challenge with an Autumnal flavour…

The April 2013 theme is Sweet Spices, Savoury Suppers

Let’s bring some warmth into the kitchen this Autumn…



This month’s challenge is a savoury challenge, because I think we all know how to make gingerbread by now (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with good gingerbread, either).  Spices like ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and allspice are often thought of as sweet, but also have some truly magnificent savoury uses.

So I’m looking for your favourite supper, lunch or side dish featuring one or more of these gorgeous spices.  Show me your favourite spice (and I don’t mean Posh) in a new light, and see what fabulous combinations others have come up with.

(I have to say, I’m really excited by this challenge)

Incidentally, I know it’s not Autumn for you Northerners, but from everything I’ve heard, Spring is rather late in coming this year, and I imagine a bit of warming spice still holds some appeal…

Challenge rules can be found at the main challenge page! Don’t forget to add your post to the linky below and get the code for your own blog hop once you’re done, and please remember to link back to this page, so that others can find the challenge recipes too.

I can’t wait to see your recipes this month – I just know they are going to spice up my life!

(I really tried to resist, but in the end, I couldn’t help myself.  I so rarely can.)

Recipe: Easter Egg Thumbprint Macaröns

closeapricotSo, what’s a macarön, I hear you ask?  Well, a macaron is a shiny, posh, filled biscuity thing made of egg-whites and almond meal and currently very much in vogue, and a macaroon is a rough, rustic, old-fashioned biscuity thing made of egg-whites and coconut.  This is a rustic but shapely, semi-filled biscuity thing made from egg-whites and almond meal, and thus neither fish, flesh or fowl.  Which, actually, is good, because who wants fish, flesh or fowl biscuits?  Let alone foul biscuits.  That would be no good at all.  Anyway, it’s a macarön, because it falls somewhere between the macaron and the macaroon and therefore deserves it’s own name.

It’s also a handy way to use up those egg-whites you set aside when you were making egg-yolk candies.

Also, I must admit, after seeing the truly stunning things Donnamarie did with her Easter eggs, I felt challenged!  The least I could do was cunningly make two kinds of sweet Easter egg out of actual eggs – one using the yolk, and one using the white.

(I have to say, the things everyone has come up with for this challenge have absolutely blown me away)

These are faintly Middle-Eastern in their inspiration, because that’s how I feel about almond meal, and also, that’s where my local ingredients tend to lead me, but you could make them utterly British with raspberry jam and vanilla, or Sicilian with lemon zest and blood orange marmalade… the possibilities are endless.

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6 egg whites (and you know what to do with the yolks, right?)
525 g almond meal (you may want a little more if the dough is too wet)
200 g caster sugar
250 g icing sugar
2 tablespoons of pistachio and cardamom sugar, if you have it, or use 2 tsp cardamom and make up the bulk with ground almonds or ground pistachios. 
1-2 tsp rosewater or orange flower water
apricot or fig jam, for the yolks. 

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Recipe: Slow Cooked Quinces with Vanilla and Cardamom

quincesbowlI’ll just be honest and say that the main point of this recipe is to have quinces cooking in your kitchen all afternoon, making the house smell amazing.  But the end product is actually delicious too, though not quite as delicious as the aroma – it’s heady and sweet and fruity and all the things you want from quince, and it tastes fabulous with yoghurt and maybe some pomegranate seeds or pistachios sprinkled over the top, so it’s not solely a somewhat expensive room perfumer…

Also, you can use the syrup over ice-cream, or to poach other fruits, or probaby even as a basis for a sorbet.  It’s beautiful, perfumed stuff.  And wonderfully, glowingly red.

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4 quinces
375 g sugar (plain white sugar is fine, and it’s generally the cheapest option, too)
750 ml water (which you can in fact get from the tap)
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp cardamom pods, squashed with a heavy knife to split them partly open, and pods and any escaped seeds added to the mix

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Recipe: Spicy Chocolate and Zucchini Cake

I can see you all looking at me rather oddly at this point, but zucchini cake is actually surprisingly good.  My Oma used to make one with nuts in it, which in fact I didn’t like, but that wasn’t the fault of the zucchini (I still detest walnuts).  Anyway, it isn’t something I make very often, but I accidentally ignored my zucchini patch for a week and when I went and had a look at it on Saturday, I found this:

Astonishingly, my zucchini plant had a zucchini on it…

Or, to be more precise, this:

Imperial marrow! (and yes, that really is to scale).

As the zucchini afficionados among you will be aware, zucchinis are not really at their best once they start getting big enough to be used as blunt instruments.  They get all mealy and lose what little flavour they had to start with.  There are basically two uses for them at that point – you can brandish them at people and make them giggle (this works surprisingly consistently), or you can grate them and make them into cakes, quickbreads, or muffins.

Today, I did both.  But I haven’t provided the recipe for the brandishing part, because I’m fairly sure you can figure that part out on your own.  Dirty jokes are optional (giant zucchinis are pretty inherently amusing even without a gutter mind, I find).  This recipe is adapted from one I found in an Australian Women’s Weekly recipe book, but it’s personality has changed a bit in the meantime, partly intentionally and partly because I was rather tired and forgot to add some ingredients and then added a whole bunch of others that I could have sworn were listed but in fact were not.  My version makes two very large loaf cakes, because I had a lot of zucchini, so you might want to divide this by 1/3 and make one medium loaf.  It all depends how out of hand your zucchinis are getting, really…

Your Shopping List

270 g unsalted butter, softened
grated zest of one large orange
3 cups raw caster sugar, or half caster, half brown sugar
6 eggs
3 3/4 cups self raising flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cardamom
pinch nutmeg
3-4 cups grated zucchini
200 g dark chocolate, chopped
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Recipe: Pistachio and Cardamom Kourabiedes

I intended to go to the Food Bloggers’ picnic in Melbourne today, but just couldn’t drag myself out of bed again today.  And then I spent the day alternating between lurching, zombie-like around the house, and feverishly baking because I wanted to use all those exciting new spice mixes from yesterday!  Apparently, I can be awake and alert while cooking even if the rest of me is completely absent.  Oh, and I did manage to do some music theory worksheets, but I kept on zoning out and writing everything in seven sharps or seven flats, for reasons that are still not clear to me.  Possibly, I just like writing sharps and flats on things.  So that wasn’t very productive.  And now the house is full of spiced biscuits and spiced chocolate bread and vanilla sugar meringues and nobody to help us eat them.  It’s a hard life…


But!  I did have this brilliant idea about Christmas presents for everyone this year, so all is not lost!  This is definitely a case of buying people a present I would like to receive myself, but I think it would be fun to give people one or two really interesting spice or herb blends, along with a recipe card for something gorgeous to make with said spices or herbs.  There are probably people I know who wouldn’t want anything of the sort, but I suspect I can get through a lot of my list in this fashion.

So the recipe that follows probably isn’t going to be of much use to anyone who doesn’t have access to the pistachio and cardamom sugar from Gewürzhaus… though, of course, you could make it with ordinary sugar and a teaspoon or so of cardamom, and get some of the idea.  It’s pretty lovely like this, though.

Your Shopping List

125 g butter, softened
50 g pistachio and cardamom sugar, or 25 g icing sugar + a teaspoon of cardamom
25 g icing sugar, plus more for dusting
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange flower water
150 g plain flour
150 g ground almonds (I used the coarsely ground ones which still have some of the skins in them – very untraditional, but nice)
1 tsp baking powder

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Recipe: Nearly Vegan Banana Bread with Indian Flavours

This recipe is as vegan as a cake can be that has honey in it.  I don’t actually know any vegans who eat honey, but I’ve heard they exist.  But don’t worry – honey could easily be swapped out in favour of agave nectar, or possibly even golden syrup, though I would be inclined to reduce the amount for that.  There’s no dairy or egg to worry about, and in a pinch, you could probably just use sugar.

I must confess that this is not the recipe for the cake I currently have cooking in the oven.  You see, I started making this based on a recipe from Less Meat, More Veg, but didn’t have enough bananas, so I replaced two bananas with 200g frozen raspberries, which I think will be lovely, but less unified in its flavour than the recipe below.  The combination of coconut milk, sweet spices and banana makes me want to play with the Indian theme some more – not that I know anything about Indian cooking!  Still, if I had mango puree or a really mild mango chutney I’d be tempted to swap out a banana for 100g of it, and if not, I’d be tempted to replace the chocolate with dried mango.  Or pawpaw.  Or maybe add some lime juice somewhere.  Or go a bit Carribean with rum-soaked raisins, allspice, nutmeg and maybe a hint of chilli, just to be daring.  Think of this, in fact, as a template for a lovely, nearly-vegan, banana bread with a tropical twist, and have a ball!

Your Shopping List

3 overripe bananas (or 1 banana and 200g raspberries)
75g raw sugar
75g honey
240g light coconut milk
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds, pounded in a mortar and pestle
1/2 tsp ginger (freshly grated, or dried and powdered)
100g dark, dark chocolate, chopped

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